Hey Alexa, what is NLP?
If you also don’t know the answer to this question, then you are unaware of a big chunk of information about human everyday life. Machines can decipher and analyze human language using the Natural Language Processing (NLP) technology. It’s at the heart of everything we use on a daily basis, say translation systems, chatbots, spam filters, search engines, voice assistants, social media monitoring tools, and many more. When a concept has quite some omnipresence, then it calls for some attention definitely. So, before we move to the main topic for today, that is, the 5 stages, or phases of NLP, let’s learn a little bit about what it actually is and how it helps.
About Natural Language Processing (NLP)
Natural Language Processing (NLP) comes under Artificial Intelligence. It can be defined as the ability of machines to analyze and detect human language. Popular NLP applications include text mining, sentiment analysis, machine translation, and more. NLP analyses numerous components of human languages, such as syntax, semantics, pragmatics, and morphology, to comprehend their structure and meaning. The linguistic information is then transformed into rule-based machine learning algorithms that can solve problems and complete tasks. Businesses deal with a lot of unstructured, text-heavy data and require a way to process it quickly. Natural human language makes up a large portion of the data created online and stored in databases, and organizations have been unable to efficiently evaluate this data until recently. Natural language processing works a treat here.
“The global NLP market is projected to grow from $20.98 billion in 2021 to $127.26 billion in 2028 at a CAGR of 29.4% in the forecast period.”
– Fortune Business Insights
Even massive amounts of data can be simplified using NLP solutions because their applications allow for faster processing and the use of business models to extract human language insights. NLP is frequently used in the background of the products and applications we use on a daily basis, assisting businesses in improving user experiences. Although natural language processing is still evolving, it is already being used in a variety of ways. You’ll be exposed to natural language processing most of the time without even recognizing it.
5 Phases of NLP
Natural Language Processing is separated into five primary stages or phases, starting with simple word processing and progressing to identifying complicated phrase meanings.
1. Lexical or Morphological Analysis
Lexical or Morphological Analysis is the initial step in NLP. It entails recognizing and analyzing word structures. The collection of words and phrases in a language is referred to as the lexicon. Lexical analysis is the process of breaking down a text file into paragraphs, phrases, and words. The source code is scanned as a stream of characters and converted into intelligible lexemes in this phase. The entire book is divided into paragraphs, phrases, and words.
It refers to the study of text at the level of individual words. It searches for morphemes, which are the smallest units of a word. The lexical analysis identifies the relationship between these morphemes and transforms the word into its root form. The word’s probable parts of speech (POS) are also assigned by a lexical analyzer.
2. Syntax Analysis or Parsing
Syntactic or Syntax analysis is a technique for checking grammar, arranging words, and displaying relationships between them. It entails examining the syntax of the words in the phrase and arranging them in a way that demonstrates the relationship between them. Syntax analysis guarantees that the structure of a particular piece of text is proper. It tries to parse the sentence in order to ensure that the grammar is correct at the sentence level. A syntax analyzer assigns POS tags based on the sentence structure given the probable POS created in the preceding stage.
For example, New York goes to John.
This sentence New York goes to John is rejected by the Syntactic Analyzer as it makes no sense.
3. Semantic Analysis
Semantic analysis is the process of looking for meaning in a statement. It concentrates mostly on the literal meaning of words, phrases, and sentences is the main focus. It also deals with putting words together to form sentences. It extracts the text’s exact meaning or dictionary definition. The meaning of the text is examined. It is accomplished by mapping the task domain’s syntactic structures and objects.
Take the following sentence for example: “The guava ate an apple.” The line is syntactically valid, yet it is illogical because guavas cannot eat.
4. Discourse Integration
The term “discourse integration” refers to a feeling of context. The meaning of any sentence is determined by the meaning of the sentence immediately preceding it. In addition, it establishes the meaning of the sentence that follows. The sentences that come before it play a role in discourse integration. That is to say, that statement or word is dependent on the preceding sentence or words. It’s the same with the use of proper nouns and pronouns.
For example, Billy bought it.
The word “it” in the above sentence is dependent on the preceding discourse context. We can see that the “it” does not make sense in this statement. In fact, it refers to anything we don’t understand. That is nothing more than the fact that the word “it” is dependent on the preceding sentence, which is not provided. So, once we’ve learned about “it,” we’ll be able to simply locate the reference. Discourse is concerned with the impact of a prior sentence on the current sentence.
5. Pragmatic Analysis
The fifth and final phase of NLP is pragmatic analysis. The overall communicative and social content, as well as its impact on interpretation, are the focus of pragmatic analysis. Pragmatic Analysis uses a set of rules that describe cooperative dialogues to help you find the intended result. It covers things like word repetition, who said what to whom, and so on. It comprehends how people communicate with one another, the context in which they converse, and a variety of other factors. It refers to the process of abstracting or extracting the meaning of a situation’s use of language. It translates the given text using the knowledge gathered in the preceding stages. “Switch on the TV” when used in a sentence, is an order or request to switch the TV on.
More NLP developments will further transform organizations and processes in this era of digital transformation and artificial intelligence, with surprises hiding around every corner. Enterprises are supported in making decisions that result in demonstrable results, and company efficiency is further boosted, thanks to the actionable customer insights provided by NLP and the automation of several procedures.
You can get your hands on the latest NLP developments and leverage the potential of AI for your organization with Algoscale’s specialized team of professionals.